Publish date:

BYU Football: Projected 2021 Depth Chart

A way-too-early look at the 2021 depth chart for BYU.
USATSI_15223841_168390393_lowres

Are you missing football already? You can check out some of the best shots from the 2020 season in the video embedded at the top of this article. It's never too early to preview the upcoming season, and BYU is set to face one of the most challenging schedules in school history in 2021. Here is a way-too-early look at the projected 2021 depth chart:

First, a few important notes. Since BYU's first game is still nine months away, this depth chart will focus more on identifying the players that will compete for jobs rather than guessing which players will win the job. There will be plenty of "OR's" on this early version of the depth chart. 

Also, we have only confirmed some of the newcomers for the 2021 season - below is a list of potential newcomers. Remember, BYU does not have scholarships for all of these players, and will have to push a few players to next season:

Returned Missionaries:

  • Tysen Lewis - OL
  • Tanner Baker - DE/TE
  • Campbell Barrington - OL/DL
  • Jaylon Vickers - DB
  • Talan Alfrey - DB
  • Oliver Nasilai - LB
  • Dallin Holker - TE
  • Viliami Tausinga - LB
  • Isaac Matua - LB
  • Bruce Mitchell - OL
  • Chase Roberts - WR
  • Donovan Hanna - TE

Class of 2020 Grayshirts:

  • Dean Jones - DB
  • John Nelson - DL
  • Tuipulotu Lai - DL

Class of 2021 Play-first Signees

  • Enoka Migao - DL
  • Elia Migao - OL
  • Quenton Rice - WR
  • Dylan Rollins - OL

Without further ado, let's move on to projected 2021 depth chart.

Quarterback

  1. Baylor Romney OR Jaren Hall OR Jacob Conover

In my mind, the battle for starting quarterback is between Romney, Hall, and Conover. Maiava is super athletic and has potential, but he is a step behind the other three. Jacob Conover will be the popular newcomer that turned down Alabama to come to BYU, but don't forget about Jaren Hall. Hall was great in limited snaps in 2019.

Running Back

  1. Tyler Allgeier
  2. Lopini Katoa

No changes to the RB depth chart. However, Sione Finau will be completely healthy and I expect him to find a role in 2021. Hinckley Ropati and Jackson McChesney could also be fully recovered from their season-ending injuries. 

Edit: Thanks to one of our readers for asking about Miles Davis. I’m not sure whether to put him at RB or WR (personally I like him at WR) but I think he’ll find a role somewhere. He’s too dynamic to not see the field.

Fullback

  1. Masen Wake
  2. Dallin Holker

Masen Wake became a fan favorite this season. Dallin Holker could play the hybrid fullback/tight end position which would allow BYU to put both Holker and Rex on the field at the same time.

Wide Receiver

  1. Neil Pau'u
  2. Keanu Hill
  1. Gunner Romney
  2. Brayden Cosper OR Chase Roberts
  1. Kody Epps
  2. Chris Jackson

Without Dax Milne, expect Kody Epps, Chris Jackson, Keanu Hill, Brayden Cosper, and Chase Roberts to compete for the vacant starting job. Terence Fall is another name to watch, but Fall is coming off an ACL tear that he suffered in November. My early pick is Kody Epps, which is why he is listed as a starter in this version of the depth chart.

Tight End

  1. Isaac Rex
  2. Dallin Holker OR Carter Wheat

Isaac Rex was simply fantastic as a redshirt freshman in 2020. Don't forget about Dallin Holker. Holker competed with Matt Bushman for a starting job when Holker was just a true freshman. Holker had 19 receptions for 235 yards as a freshman in 2018 before he left for his mission in Chile.

Offensive Line

Left Tackle
1. Harris LaChance
2. Mo Unutoa

Left Guard
1. Clark Barrington
2. Elia Migao

Center
1. James Empey
2. Joe Tukuafu
3. Connor Pay

Right Guard
1. Connor Pay
2. Keanu Saleapaga

Right Tackle
1. Blake Freeland
2. Dylan Rollins

BYU loses five offensive lineman that were on the depth chart against UCF. This is a first draft at what the 2021 offensive line could look like, spring ball will be super important for this group.

Defensive Backs

Left Cornerback
1. D'Angelo Mandell OR Isaiah Herron
3. Shamon Willis

Strong Safety
1. Chaz Ah You OR Malik Moore
3. Matt Criddle
4. Morgan Pyper

Free Safety
1. Talan Alfrey OR Malik Moore
3. Tavita Gagnier OR Morgan Pyper

Right Cornerback
1. Keenan Ellis
2. Micah Harper

Nickel
1. Shamon Willis
2. Jaylon Vickers OR Jacques Wilson

Cinco

1. Chaz Ah You OR George Udo OR Jaylon Vickers OR Caleb Christensen

I expect Chaz Ah You to start, but I'm not sure whether he'll be listed at 'Cinco' or at strong safety. George Udo was great at times in 2020, but he suffered an injury towards the end of the season and it's unclear whether he'll be able to return before the 2021 season. Jaylon Vickers is a returned missionary to watch. Jacques Wilson suffered an injury in fall camp last season, but he could find a role in 2021. Talan Alfrey, a returned missionary from the class of 2018, is one of the best safety prospects in BYU's pipeline.

Safety is a big question mark for BYU in 2021. The Cougars need players like Malik Moore to take a step forward next season.

Linebackers

Jack
1. Max Tooley
2. Pepe Tanuvasa

Mike
1. Keenan Pili
2. Josh Wilson

Rover
1. Drew Jensen
2. Jackson Kaufusi

Flash
1. Payton Wilgar
2. Ben Bywater

BYU will miss Isaiah Kaufusi, but they return most of their linebackers in 2021. BYU's linebackers are arguably the strongest unit going into next season.

Defensive Line

Defensive End 1
1. Gabe Summers OR Seleti Fevaleaki
3. Alema Pilimai

Nose Tackle
1. Caden Haws OR Atunaisa Mahe
3. John Nelson

Defensive Tackle
1. Lorenzo Fauataea
2.Earl Tuioti-Mariner OR Seleti Fevaleaki

Outside End
1. Alden Tofa OR Uriah Leiataua OR Tyler Batty

BYU loses a lot of production along the defensive line. I think there is enough talent in the room for BYU to replace most of that production in 2021.

Specialists

Place Kicker
1. Jake Oldroyd
2. Justen Smith

Holder
1. Ryan Rehkow
2. Hayden Livingston

Long Snapper
1. Britton Hogan
2. Austin Riggs

Punter
1. Ryan Rehkow
2. Jake Oldroyd

Kick Return

1. Caleb Christensen
2. Miles Davis

Punt Return

1. Hobbs Nyberg
2. Talmage Gunther

All specialists were underclassman - I don't expect too many changes from the special teams units.